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DTM victory number two of the season for Gary Paffett at the Lausitzring
- - Gary Paffett won the fourth race of the 2018 DTM season at the Lausitzring. After 34 laps of racing‚ the Mercedes-Benz driver crossed the finish line first on Sunday to pick up the 25 points awarded to the race winner for the second time this year‚ having previously triumphed at the season-opener in Hockenheim. The race tyre provided by premium tyre maker Hankook performed to its usual high standard‚ allowing various different strategies‚ even with track temperatures soaring to over 40 degrees. Jamie Green (Audi) was one driver to take advantage of this flexibility: The Brit came in for a new set of tyres on the opening lap and was then able to climb from 16th on the grid to finish sixth on the consistently quick Ventus Race tyres.
Klettwitz/Germany‚ 21 May 2018 - 17 DTM drivers lined up in glorious sunshine and summery temperatures at the Lausitzring on Sunday. Acting upon advice from doctors‚ reigning DTM champion René Rast (Audi) could only sit and watch following his spectacular crash on Saturday. Pole setter Philipp Eng (BMW) initially held on to his lead‚ but was overtaken on lap four by Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz) and fellow Mercedes-Benz driver Pascal Wehrlein.
Paffett came into the pits for his tyre change on lap eleven‚ after which he controlled the race. Two-time DTM champion Marco Wittmann came in for his new set of Hankook race tyres three laps later. Following this stop‚ he was able to climb into second place and set off in pursuit of leader Paffett. But the BMW driver never closed to within striking distance and ultimately came home 1.427 seconds behind the winner.
Third place went to Pascal Wehrlein (Mercedes-Benz)‚ ahead of fellow Mercedes-Benz driver Paul Di Resta. Timo Glock (BMW) came home fifth to defend his overall lead. However‚ the German's lead has been cut to just one point over Gary Paffett‚ who claimed the 22nd victory of his DTM career at the Lausitzring. Best-placed Audi driver was Jamie Green‚ whose early pit stop helped him climb into sixth place‚ ahead of the fastest man in qualifying‚ Philipp Eng (BMW).
Manfred Sandbichler‚ Hankook Motorsport Director Europe: “Following the short but spectacular race on Saturday‚ the spectators were treated to an exciting second race on Sunday. Gary Paffett employed perfect tactics to claim his 22nd win in the DTM. Marco Wittmann also had a strong race‚ although he came up just short in the end. The Hankook race tyre provided all the drivers with a high level of grip right down to the finish on the smooth asphalt at the Lausitzring. The tyre's consistency allowed flexible race strategies. For example‚ Paul Di Resta and Jamie Green both came in early and then drove a long second stint‚ which allowed them to climb eleven and ten places respectively.”
BMW Team RBM again produced the fastest pit stop of the DTM weekend at the Lausitzring‚ with a time of 35.489 seconds. They were rewarded for their efforts with 25 points towards the Hankook Best Pit Stop Award.
Jamie Green (Audi): “A big plus for me today was the tyre management. I came into the pits on the opening lap and then ran the entire race on one set of Hankook race tyres. I had virtually no wear all race. The tyres and car worked very well. That was the key to me finishing in the top six after starting from the back row of the grid.”
Marco Wittmann (BMW): “The Hankook race tyres worked superbly. The car performed very well on them in my first stint and I was able to stick with the Mercedes. We then chose the right tactics in coming in for a tyre change one lap later than Pascal. After that‚ we were able to set off in pursuit of Gary. I had really good pace in the second stint – I think it was the fastest of all the drivers. Unfortunately‚ it was not quite enough to challenge for the lead‚ but I am really happy with the Hankook race tyres and my podium finish.”
Gary Paffett (Mercedes-Benz): “Unlike yesterday‚ it was very hot today‚ which made tyre management important. I had to push very hard at the start‚ but that did not seem to affect the Hankook race tyres. They were consistently quick‚ thanks also to the fact that our car was perfectly balanced. The Hankook tyres worked well right through to the finish‚ which allowed me to react to the quick times being set by Marco‚ who was gaining all the time.”
Pascal Wehrlein (Mercedes-Benz): “I still have to get used to the Hankook race tyres a bit. They are very different to the ones I drove on in my last year in the DTM in 2015. However‚ it is getting better all the time and the Hankook tyres did a good job today. I am sure that I can make it onto the top step of the podium on them in the coming races.”